BALTIMORE — In response to the recent unrest surrounding the death of Freddie Gray, the Open Society Institute-Baltimore has announced the creation of the Baltimore Justice Fund.
The Fund will support focused interventions to improve police accountability and police-community relationships, reduce the number of Baltimoreans caught up in the criminal system without compromising public safety and engage Marylanders, especially young people, in advocacy for programs and policies to increase opportunity and racial justice.
For 17 years, OSI-Baltimore has focused on the root causes of three intertwined problems in Baltimore and the state: drug addiction, an over reliance on incarceration and obstacles that keep youth from succeeding both inside and outside the classroom. Those seemingly intractable issues are parts of a whole, melding together to create the conditions that led to Gray’s death and subsequent anger, protests and uprisings.
“The recent unrest stemmed immediately from the community’s broken relationship with the police and the treatment of people in Baltimore’s most vulnerable communities. While these problems are common to many cities across the country, all of us in Baltimore have an urgent need to work together to create policies, practices and relationships that are respectful, transparent and fair in our city,” said Diana Morris, director of Open Society Institute-Baltimore.
One hundred percent of donations to the Baltimore Justice Fund will support solutions that address harmful policies and practices in Baltimore, as well as the root causes of inequities that became broadly apparent with Gray’s killing, according to Morris.
“At OSI-Baltimore, we know that it is impossible to address issues of injustice without also addressing the structural inequalities that hold too many of our residents in poverty and block opportunity,” Morris said. “And we know that there is a growing number of people, in Baltimore and beyond, who want to join us in addressing these root causes to bring about real and lasting solutions. By setting up the Baltimore Justice Fund, we seek to widen the ways in which people can get involved in the city’s future, as well as provide resources to deepen our collective work.”
To give to the Baltimore Justice Fund, visit our website: http://www.audaciousideas.org/2015/05/osi-baltimore-launches-the-baltimore-justice-fund.